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Road Notes: Day 131


Arriving at a new place at night is always fun. It means that the next day we wake up, throw open our camper door, and get to witness (all at once) the surroundings that the darkness obscured. This was one of those punch-in-the-gut, slap-in-the-face, love-at-firt-sight experiences. Marfa is stunningly beautiful. It feels so good to be in the desert again. It makes me feel complete.

We headed into Marfa, not really knowing what it had to offer. We popped into the visitor’s center to get some advice. Marfa is small. Like, under 2000 people, handful of restaurants, one stop light kinda small. Yet, it is stuffed full of art. Art that is all closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Our lives are spontaneous and we don’t do a ton of planning ahead before going places. This just comes with the territory.

Despite all museums and galleries being closed, we were able to pull to the side of the road to peek at the Donald Judd’s untitled 15 works in concrete. They are large, symmetrical structures placed in an open, grassy field. After that we jumped over the Chinati Foundation courtyard, where there was a newer outdoor work from Robert Irwin. I was bummed we weren’t able to see more of the art that Marfa had to offer. However, the art that we did see was stunning. Marfa is inspiring. The vast landscapes, the way the intense sun casts fierce shadows, the foliage, the dry, dusty air. The art that we did see obviously tapped into, played off of, and worked in conjunction with the physical location in which it exists. This is why these artists came to Marfa. Enticed away from the big city, seduced by the surreal scenery. I understand why.

Usually, we find a campsite (hopefully free) where we can unhook and leave the trailer behind when we explore. Not having that luxury was not a problem here. It was such a small town with ample parking, even for our truck/trailer combo. We parked, hopped out, and explored 'downtown.' Lunch was Marfa Burrito, which was just a little old woman cooking out of a house-turned-restaurant. It was unfathomably good. We walked to the far side of town to check out the courthouse (built in 1886). The Marfa Book Company, located in the St. George hotel, was full of everything I want. Out of curiosity (ya know, just in case we ever wanted to live here for a bit), we hit up the local liquor store and grocery store. They were all surprisingly good. A million pictures later, we grabbed dinner at Jett’s Grill in the Hotel Paisano. Eh. Give me Marfa Burrito any day.

I was hoping there was a band playing at El Cosmico (a weird RV/teepee hotel that has occasional live shows and an overpriced but adorable gift shop), but no such luck. Our late night options were limited. Since we had already hit up both hotels during the day (and the Capri was closed) we stuck to the Lost Horse Saloon. Which, as it turns out, we were beyond happy with. It’s a massive bar with pool tables, outdoor seating and swinging, dozens of mounted heads, and super attractive people.

I like it here. I really like it here.

Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day. Considerations are made for spelling/legibility but not for grammar. Deal with it.


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